Richard Van Camp: 10 books that have 'marked my soul'
Celebrated Tlicho writer Richard Van Camp has written over 20 books across multiple genres. His latest work includes the short story collection Moccasin Square Gardens, which features a witty cast of characters from his hometown Fort Smith, N.W.T. He's also a contributor to the comics anthology This Place.
Below, Van Camp shares 10 books that have shaped his life, or in his words, "taken my throat by their teeth" and "marked my soul forever."
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
"It's the end of the world thanks to a pandemic and one of the survivors, Hig, has a plane, a dog named Jasper and an uneasy alliance with a sharpshooter, Bangley. It's them against the world and the attacks from other survivors never stop coming. Oh and the world's water supply is drying up. I love it for so many reasons and I hope you'll love it, too."
Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
"I reread this book once a year, usually on a plane, usually on tour and usually with deep regret after as it drags me back into the hell house of our narrator Clay's mind. I love it. I'm terrified of it. Three words: 'The Crossing Place.' Good Lord."
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
"The dialogue, the details, the shoot outs, the grit. I reread that conversation between the hitchhiker and Llewellyn Moss daily. It's perfect."
"I feel we will all be held to this level of excellence of writing with the first instalment of Eden Robinson's Trickster Trilogy. The story just lets go and you find yourself leaving your body as you turn the pages. I love it. What a spell Eden puts you under. I can't wait to read the final book when it's ready."
Indiscretion by Charles Dubow
"I tell everyone I meet about this novel. It's about a life lived through watching. It's about an affair. It's about fate and destiny and karma and the voice of our narrator, Walter, will hum through my bones forever. Completely devastating. Completely and forever a love story that just destroys me even thinking about it."
Red by Sammy Hagar
"Sammy Hagar's account of his life from rags to riches will inspire you to pursue your dreams to the fullest. You can hear Sammy's voice long after you've put the book down."
My Life Outside the Ring by Hulk Hogan & Mark Dagostino
"A page turner of a career, a marriage, a father doing all he can for his son. You think you know Hulk? Maybe. But give this a read when you can. You won't regret it."
"A no holding back investigation and revelation of what amateur hockey can do to a family and a marriage. I think about this book every day."
"I feel that this book unravels the universe every time someone reads it. It's this unending cry from a mother's soul that can destroy the reader from the inside out. I love it because it reminds me that literature is meant to provoke and unsettle and Tanya Tagaq does exactly this."
"A novel of unrelenting tension. A small northern community. Cell service stops. Then power. Then a community has to make due with all they have, but there's hunger and a dwindling food supply and a stranger with a strange smile who shows to 'help.' Terrifying."
- Why Waubgeshig Rice wrote a dystopian novel about the collapse of society from an Indigenous perspective